Novavax appears effective against UK variant

The new coronavirus vaccine created by Novavax has been shown to be 89 percent effective in a trial in the UK.

That puts it close to those from Phizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The company said on Thursday that a preliminary analysis showed the vaccine is also the first to be nearly as effective against the variant of the virus discovered in Britain.

However, it is less effective against the South African variant - only 60 percent effective among those without HIV.

In a conference call, the company said they expect it to take at least two or three months before they can apply for authorization from the UK's regulators.

It's expected they will also apply for use in the European Union.

Approval of the Novavax vaccine would be welcome there--as Europe struggles with a sparse supply of vaccines after Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca delivered fewer doses than they hoped.

Novavax is already stockpiling vaccine at six operating manufacturing locations and says it expects eight plants in seven countries to produce 2 billion doses a year, including from the Serum Institute of India.

On the Novavax call, executives said they were speaking with the American FDA - to see if the early data was enough to apply for U.S. emergency use authorization.

A 30,000-person trial in the United States and Mexico that began in December also is underway.

The company got $1.6 billion dollars from the U.S. government to fund the vaccine trial and for 100 million doses.

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